Thursday, 15 October 2009


"A vagabond is an itinerant person. Such people may be called drifters, tramps, rogues or hobos . A vagabond is characterised by almost continuous travelling, lacking a fixed home, temporary abode or permanent." - Wikipedia

No im not a vagabond, it is just a reflection of the state of my mind. While im gradually getting used to the aspect of working from Chennai and making a new set of absolutely cracking friends my soul keeps harking back and forth between Coimbatore and Chennai. Chennai is a fine city (if u could overlook the filth, climate, population, traffic jams, power-cuts, water problems....etc).

I would have been bored to death if i'd not met a few people in the recent past. We form this amazing gang of jokers who would drive down the ECR to Mahabalipuram in the dead of the nite, have a few drinks at any day of the week, go for dinner at 3:00 am, make a mockery of every member and still be able to laugh it off. So coming to the point, during the times of recession and crises in the IT industry its a welcome relief for me to share my thoughts and feelings with this set of like minded Vagabounds.

Life has been tough on me the past few months, i've been drained emotionally and physically but have manged to hold on thanks to a few good people around me. My addiction to driving/bikes/cars helps me to keep adrift of the many problems. Thanks to this gang, none of my addictions are in short supply. I get to drive the best diesel engines at breakneck speeds and no one complaints.

All this bonding is too good to be true and im aware of the fact that good things not lasting long enough but may this gang stick on.........God willing!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Some WTF thoughts about IT

This post is more of a continuation of my previous post "I wanted to be an airforce pilot".
After thinking long and hard about the goodness of being "fired" i decided to rake my brains about thoughts which we normally do not think when we are happily chewing the currency notes.

Here are a few WTF thoughts about the IT industry:
  • We sit in air conditioned offices all day yet complain about illness due to 'sitting in front of the computer', jeez get a life!
  • Our claims run to 100s of $, pounds, riyals yet complain about the company not doing enough, well did you think the company will pay for ur toilet paper!
  • Our yearly perks are among the highest in the job market yet its always a few % less, when did you dad get his last raise?
  • Our salaries/allowances are sometimes ridiculous for the actual work we do yet we complain about how grossly underpaid we are, tats coz Tom-Dick-Harry work for Mr.Gates and Mr.Jobs and you work for Mr.Raman Iyer trying to sell a code available on google!
On the lighter side:
  • We get to chit-chat with the female species unlike other industries since the female in IT is considered liberated...sexually or mentally...ur guess is as gud as mine
  • We get free coffee, snacks and in some cases even lunch....although most companies have stopped offering freebies now, anyways it tastes like mud most of the time.
  • Some lucky folks get to travel in business class
  • Some lucky folks even get fuel allowances
  • Some companies have the most beautiful HR girls
  • Some lucky folks get to work on exotic onsite in Saudi Arabia, and tats NOT Exotic!
  • Everybody gets food vouchers....err i would have preferred drink vouchers
  • You can hire a houseboat in Kerala for a team meeting as part of the 'stress-free' work week program wherein you actually...hmmm. Furthermore, its paid for by the company!
  • Laptops/mobiles are part of the salary package.....if you try a bit harder the HR's personal mobile number aswell
  • You can go out with ur mates (read as team in the claim sheet) and get drunk on a team nite out.....ofcourse, paid for by the company
  • If your have the right connections, ur techi wife will be ur team member on an onsite project in thats a WTF moment!
But the biggest boner is that, all of this counts for nothing when your fired due to 'non-performance' in the middle of an onsite-honeymoon in Europe with your colleague(read girlfriend)! IT folks need to understand that 'there is nothing called a free lunch'

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

I wanted to be an airforce pilot!!

I had to rehearse 15 times before i could tell him the dreaded words.... 'Ur fired!!' Pink slips are a favorite phase among IT employers with all the recession and stock markets crumbling. The worst part is, inspite of the guy being a permanent employee he cannot challenge the decision. Simple reason being, the pink slip is a one way ticket to eternal bliss!! The pink slip has more clause than the Constitution of India.

I had to ask this new join guy to leave the project. There were the usual Ifs,buts, maybe's, ....and all the usual statements. Although he took everything in his stride, acted normal and tired to keep his keep arm from not impulsively smacking me, i swear i could hear him mouth a four letter word. Hey but who cares, today its him, tomorow its me!

To be fair, very fair that is...the guy is just 24 days old in my project, he's joined the team at the very last phase. The project is for Aramco which in itself is like a complex bureaucratic govt office with about a million systems/servers/networks and architectures. How could i expect him to deliver with so many constraints and giving him very little time to get accustomed to the Saudi way of life?

Yes, its unfair, yes its bollocks, but who the hell cares? 'IT' for all its shining glory on the facade has a dark dog-eat-dog side which nobody notices until this bloke called Recession happily strolls along every 8 years and unleashes the dirter side.

My company is hit and fairly speaking, all my colleagues kinda look forward to the dreaded word. Wish i was selected for the Air-force when i finished skool, too bad the selection guy asked me to run 3 bloody miles in 2 fuckin mins...wat am i?? Superman!!

So, I decided to take up the next best job in the world "Sitting in front of the computer 14 hrs a day"!! Now how does that compare to shooting fighter-planes for a job! eh??

Monday, 8 June 2009


The AirIndia flight to Chennai from King Fahad Intrnal Airport was bang on time, its a 4.5 hr flight across the desert and the Arabian Sea so no spectacular scenery and moreover i will be flying just about midnite. Decided to eat the airline meal and have a nice nap till i reach chennai.

Of all the flying i've done this one had a suprise in store for me. I was sitting besides the window (i always shamelessly ask for it in the counter). Just out of the blue i gotup in the middle of my nap and witnessed an awesome sight of nature at its finesse. The sun was just about to rise over the horizon, the sky was splashed with a beautiful hue of orange/purple/yellow. A streak of bright white/orange extended right across the horizon announcing the impending arrival of the Sun. Wat a sight to behold!! In view of the pleasant surprise my brain started to rewind.

To compliment the mood, the mp3 was playing some soft romantic number and i was going nostalgic over moments which i never thought i could recollect. All the romantic misses, crushes, getaways, college friends etc etc... it was like a flood of thoughts and i was reliving my childhood and college days. I was day dreaming until the sun rise was no longer romantic and started turning out to be hot instead. Similar to life........ "No good thing lasts forever!"

Note: The photo was taken by my mobile and does no justice to the spectacle

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Gone are the Tigers!

The Lankan army has decided not use heavy caliber guns on the civilian population caught in the 6 sq km of land. Instead they have decided to use smaller guns to limit colletral damage. WTF!! The damage has already been done.

Im not pro-LTTE and neither am i a supporter of the Rajapakshe regime, but its a real pity to see the once famous LTTE being trashed in their own backyard, ofcourse India and other countries have given 'tactical' support to the Lankan Army but still to see a once prominent fighting force which had a fully functional Naval and Air wing and which controlled one-third of SriLanka being pulverised so mercilessly is truly spectacular.

I remember the late Anton Balasingham's comment about the assasination of Rajiv Gandhi 'It was a mistake which is regrettable', Mr. Balasingham if you were alive today you will notice what this mistake has caused to your organization, LTTE and the tamil people in SL.

Civilians have been ruthlessly killed among the fighting and its no suprise that both the govt and the LTTE have been blamed. The govt on their part do not allow any bloody journalist or foreign body to operate in the conflict zone making a fair judgement almost impossible. Btw, the lankan govt has never been fair to the Tamil people hence the whole reason for this confict!

Now that the LTTE is crushed and no longer considered a true blood fighting force what is going to happen? Wat about the millions of tamils who have left everything and moved into Army territory gonna get? Will they be given back their properties in LTTE controlled areas? Will they be resettled in a 'strategically' safer place so that they dont regroup? Will they get employment? Will they be allowed to lead a normal life like any sinhala? These are millions of questions which need to be answered.

Like any conflict the world will soon forget what happened in SL, but the suffering Tamils will still be searching for their lost lives and limbs.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

No free lunch!!

Its past 9 pm and im still in office. Here in Saudi we start work at 7 am, so its 14 hrs straight now and i still dont see the light. Working onsite on an IT project is no bloody fun.

I've also practically eaten nothing the whole day and my head is a tizzy coz of looking at the laptop for so many hours. This is wat i've been stuffing down my food pipe the whole day

Cornflakes for breakfast at 6:00 am,
Coffee at 7:00 am,
Coffee at 10:00 am
Fruits at 12:00 am
Coffee at 1:30 pm
Coffee at 3:00 pm
Mocha at 5:00 pm
Cup Noodles at 8:00 pm
Tea at 9:00 pm

Not that i am complaining, i get paid fairly well and infact enjoy my work, but its a weird feeling to spend a good part of the 24 hrs in the same cubicle. You kinda become claustrophobic looking at the same cubicle, same colors, same screen and worse your brains/eyes start to beg you to look objects which are not related to work.

For some reason I keep thinking what my dad quotes everyday about life "There is nothing called a free lunch".

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Today is April 14 2009

I so badly wanna record this day in my life. Wish i had somebody following me with a camera for today only, only today. I have never ever been so overwhelmed in my sure there will be more days like this but for a start today April 14, 2009 at Saudi Arabia is 'THE' day.
Wer do i start? ok here goes...
I squirmed, apologized a 100 times (mistakes are all mine!), felt like killing myself by jumping outta a car travelling at 140kph, apologized again, spoke my heart out to who ever would listen, reallocated tasks to my team, restrategized mine/team Visa arrangments, got managment lessons from an illustrious collegue, ran into problems which will never occur in a normal work day and the list goes on. Its 10 pm now and im still waiting for any bloody suprises which are in hold to complete my day!
Gosh, will you ever stop learning in life? I think not...but if every learning day is like this then hell no! I wud rather gladly strip to the barest minimum and brave a snow storm than face the music of my superiors.
Hitting the sack now and waiting for tomorow to start new with a new set of suprises.
Life is just so awesome!!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

The woods are lovely dark and deep..........

I secretly do wish for my life to be much more simpler, stress free and full of vigour but life really needs to have ups and downs. One should enjoy their sorrows and thrive in their joys. For now its mostly enjoying for me now. Life couldnt be much better. My project is delayed, my private life is a mess and still i manage to keep a happy face. I ought to be mighty proud of myself to have handled so much till now, but as Robert Frost put it " ....... and miles to go before before i sleep"

Sunday, 15 March 2009

All in a days work.

I am predominantly right brained and i know what makes a good design 'good' and a bad design 'bad'. My current project involves convincing ppl that the User Interface Elements i design is in conjection with project demands and user liking, which in most cases is just the opposite. I happen to lead the project and that makes it far more complicated because i am now trying to convince my designers and my client. Its like justifying murder to two sets of layers who are arguing against each other. Confusing??......that how it is when trying to do designs for a client who is so damn left brained!!

Trying to visually satisfy clients is by far the most challenging of tasks to a designer, i've tried and tested a few novel approaches.

  • Guage his sense of dressing, a good indicator of the type of person he is. A well dressed person is slightly easier to deal with and normally has some design sense
  • His desktop, a dull boring windows default desktop indicates a bad artistic sense
  • His legacy system, a very good indicator! A visually good system, then your dealing with somebody with good design sense
  • His mobile/mp3, an upto date gadget; then somebody with enough understanding of technology and awareness about latest design style

There are a few more ways i try to judge ppl but again, im being very subjective and am not right at times.

By the way, my present client dresses very badly but has a very good sense of color; that makes my life more miserable since he does not understand design but understands the colors used in these designs.

His legacy system is designed very well but has bad color schemes :( now how the hell should i judge this guy??

His mobile was created during the stone ages but has the latest iPod touch! Now, thats what i call extremeee.

I've been at loggerheads with him for so long now that i have decided to tell him this:

"No great thing is created suddenly."- Epictetus

Monday, 2 March 2009

Slumdog-bold and yet subtle

The British media called in 'Poverty Porn', Mr. Bachchan hated it and none of the indian directors gave positive remarks baring a very few. So wat if Slumdog Millioner shows India in poor light. Its not like Danny Boyle has depicted an India which is not true. Every frame of the movie echo's the real India which is not covered by the media.

Any movie buff will love the movie, its pure art. Hats off to the largely indian technicians who pulled it off. Indian directors should take a leaf outta this movie and try doing something fresh and fulfilling rather than the routine song/dance/sentiment melodrama.

Watch SM for the child artists, the background score and for the bold but beautifully etched screenplay. The movie moves at breakneck speed and your held riveted in a trance till the credits roll. And does it not finish in sshtyle!! typical bollywood sshtyle.
Note to Vijay fans: he is a bloody serious aberration!! For Gods sake he cannot act and is a serious pain with his do-gooder attitude. He invariably is always the hero who worships his mother, takes care of his family/village/town/city/country! If he wants to get into politics he might aswell do it rather than begging for votes with his mass masala movies. God save the indian film industry!!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009


Everybody has memories of their best moments till date. The day you came first in class(i used to!!), the day your dad bought u your first bicycle, the first time you took somebody on a date and didnt know wat to do afterwards, the first time you sneaked out your dad's car for a secret drive, the first time you crashed your car/bike....memories are aplenty and serves the purpose of day dreaming when not doing office work.
My memories of driving a motorized vehicle was way back in high school when i used to steal my dad's antique bajaj for sneaky drives. I remember the day i decided to touch past the 50km mark, the odo had only 70 or 80 as the max. These were the days when i was just learing to drive and my sense of balance on a scooter with a right engine was not too great. The needle took eons to touch the magical 50kmph mark and i was shit scared yet the rush was just magical. My heart beating a 100 paces faster than the pistons.
The same rush and adrelain, pumping a 100litres of blood into my heart came when i decided to push my Yamaha RX100 past the 100kmph mark. I had a shogun for company and it was a definite case of 'who is the boss'. That day i knew that my motorcycling days are gonna be much more fun than i had earlier imagined. My RX outflanked the Shogun and i was trembling like a kid lost in a carnival. This was pure evil rush, the rush to beat any damn bike who dares to dicatate terms to me. Having an ported RX helped me thoroughly in my college years to have the same rush over and over again but nothing like the first time you feel it.
Doing 180kmph on the Glasgow-Inverness highway on a Vauxhall with my dad and mom seated in the back bought back the exact feelings. Dad was cringing and mom looked petrified but i kept the pedal down knowing this was the only time i can get back at Dad for not allowing me to go past 100 in this old Maruti 800. The feeling, sublime!!
But the pure adrelain rush i first felt on my RX was to be overshowed by me driving a Vauxhall Zafira, a 7 seater sports version MPV with close to 3 litres. I was thumping past the 200kmph mark on the Edinburgh-Glasgow motorway well aware that there are atleast a 100 speed cameras. We were already late for the 10'o'clock London bus which my friends had to catch in order to save their job on Monday morning. For me it was enuf reasons to keep the pedal to the metal. I'll forever live that thought, the rush, the sweat, the fear, the digital speedo clicking 200, the trees and cars turning into a speck....Wow!!
That day i said "Speed is definitely better than Sex"!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Chaos Theory-Live young and Die very young

Leading a chaotic life is strangely satisfying to me. Keeping my brains buzzing and bursting to the seam has not really been my cup of tea but now its become second nature, i think about a 100 things at the same time. Guess my line of work compounds it. Nowadays i simultaneously think about my next project layout design and the color of the car Vin Diesel drives in Fast'n'Furious. Is it normal? hell no.....something is definitely wrong with me.

End of the day im so stuffed with thoughts that i have no room for actions. I tried consulting my trusted doctor friend. Try yoga he suggested but added "......anywayz software Engineers dont live to be too old, so just chill out and eat your brains while it works"